Monday, November 12, 2012

Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook

Cross Stitch tile

Do you know what cures a cold?  A perfectly delightful new book and good reason to spend the weekend stitching away on the couch!  Yes, that'll do it!

Well, I'm feeling better at least.  My little girlie is sleeping off Monday in fervent hopes to be well enough for homeschool co-op tomorrow.  We're nursing with tea and herbs.  It's so, so quite at the moment, so let's chat about Anna Maria Horner's new book!

Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook

Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook is (as I'm sure you expect) quite the visual treat.  I've spent a few weeks just taking it all in, knowing a project would surely come to be.  And soon.  I'm glad I waited though, because taking on my first cross stitch project was just the sort of low-energy work I wanted this weekend.  Needlework, tea and a cuddly quilt are the perfect get-well recipe for this mama.

Grid works and Free works

So, in her book, Anna shares 4 needlework techniques divided into Grid Works and Free Works.  Cross stitch and tapestry fall under grid works, since these arts use counted grid background fabrics and precise design charts.  Under free works, she covers embroidery and crewel.

Tapestry punk

I was completely in the dark about tapestry, which is also referred to as "needlepoint".  I guess this is the art I've seen the least.  And, now that I look up materials, I see that it's also the most pricey!  My favorite tapestry project in the book is the Star Crossed Love clutch.  It's tapestry and embroidery with a touch of punk.  All the texture in those tapestry stars makes me want to see this design in quilt form.  Any takers?

sweet crewel

Another favorite project is Letters Home, a crewel pillow glimpsed this September on Anna Maria's blog.  The colors, the simplicity, the texture, the sentiment - it really has everything.  I'm sure we'll be seeing these around.

Four Tiles cross stitch

Anna Maria Horner's version of cross stitch is refreshingly vibrant and modern.  I'm really drawn to the large cross stitch scene she's working on the book's cover, but decided to start with something smaller to feel my way.

color, color

I chose a single tile from the Four Tiles Collection and set about hunting down floss.  Many of the colors Anna used for this project are from her Radiant and Seafaring stranded floss collections.  Unfortunately, I hadn't kept all the floss labeled, plus there were 5 or so colors recommended for this tile that were not from her collections.  I studied the book to try to match colors as best as possible, and dove in.

firsts

Anna's overview of cross stitch had me nicely on my way in no time.  Although it was intimidating at first, reading the design chart turned out to be no trouble.

this weekend

I would say the trouble came in with the colors.  I ended up pulling out whole sections after realizing that the colors I'd used hoping to match Anna's weren't really working for me.  This is not to say that I didn't like Anna's choices.  It's just that my "close" substitutions still changed colors.  And, the resulting changes in tone and mood can really throw things off.  After some trial and error I realized that it was better for me to just go with my own gut on colors, changing things were I would.  Now I see why a cross stitch kit would be super enticing!  With so many colors at work, the balance is a bit complex.

Oh, also, one should always mark floss cards with the color reference number.  Duh, Rachel.

my version

As of this morning, I'm declaring my little work complete.  I've ended it here, looking more like a snowflake than a tile.  I imagine working it into a journal cover someday. Wouldn't that be nice!

::Giveaway::

I received my copy of Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook as a gift from Freespirit.  And, since they're so good at sharing, I get to giveaway a copy of the book and two of Anna's floss collections to one lucky reader!  For your chance to win, add your comment by noon (eastern time) Wednesday, November 14th. 

Good luck!

********Comments  Closed*********

And the winner is comment #150, Annabelle of Covering. I'll be in touch, you lucky thing!

232 comments:

  1. Your cross stitching is beautiful!

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  2. Gorgeous! I am taking her quilting class at QuiltCon in February and I am soooo excited! Love her embroidery designs. She is such an artist!

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  3. Your completed cross stitch project is delightful!

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  4. I love your completed piece. That book is some serious eye candy! Would love to have a copy....

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  5. Cross-stitch - something I've got on my bucket list to learn. Those designs are SO beautiful! Thanks for the opportunity :)

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  6. Thanks for the up close look at your stitching. I'm excited to give this a try.

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  7. Oh you should pick me because I'm sick too...oh and I REALLY want this book! Your project turned out so pretty!

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  8. The book seems to be beautiful, gorgeous colours. I do love her designs and fabrics. If only she would come to Europe once! Your cross stitch project is beautiful too.
    Groetjes, Gerda

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  9. This is the second blog i've seen feature this book, and it has me wanting to own it! Im currently stitching a xmas peice from The Frosted Pumpkin :)

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  10. I did some of these needlework techniques years ago and somehow got a little bored with it. This book has really got me excited about starting again - I guess because the projects are just so beautiful!

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  11. I haven't cross stitched in years, but Anna's take on it has me thinking about starting again! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  12. What a beautiful book, I would love to have it for my collection!

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  13. My first time commenting on a giveaway;) but I so would like to have this book!

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  14. Oh that looks such fun! Thanks for offering such a lovely giveaway.

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  15. I'm sure this book will be as beautiful as her other works! The projects look so nice! Thanks for the chance to win. :)

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  16. Your handstitched class got me hooked on all this stuff. It's your fault I need this book! :)

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  17. I read a lot warm words about this book and as I can see from the photos it's absolutely wonderful! I actually never tried needleworks (maybe once I put some simple stitches on swap pillow) and when I look at works like yours, I've got a feeling it's high time to try!

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  18. I think I am going to have to get the book just for that home pillow! It is perfect. I did some cross stitch when I was a kid but I haven't touched it since, but maybe it's time to give it another go :)

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  19. Gorgeous book. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  20. This book looks beautiful and so does your project. I'd love to give some needlework a try.

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  21. You have some beautiful work going on there. It looks like the book has great photographs for illustration! :)

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  22. to receive that book would be just wonderful!!

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  23. Love the project you chose! I would love to win a copy, I love needlework!

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  24. Cool! This book looks like tons of fun.

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  25. I love Anna Maria Horner's designs. Thanks for the opportunity to win her latest book!

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  26. Beautiful! I'd love to win a copy.

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  27. I've been dying to take up cross-stitch and embroidery lately!

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  28. Have been thinking about trying my hand at this beautiful artwork - would love a copy of the book! Thanks so much for the chance!

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  29. ive been sick for two weeks... hope you and the kiddo heal much faster! I'd love a copy of the book!

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  30. I love love love her work! So beautiful! Thanks for the chance!

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  31. I love Anna Maria and her work, this book would be a delight to own! Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  32. I added this to my Amazon wish list - I really must have this! Your project is coming along nicely!

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  33. I did a lot of cross stitch while still at school. Started embroidery again with your handstitched-class, so much fun! AMH book looks fabulous.

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  34. I have been waiting anxiously for this book to come out! Your first cross stitch looks great!

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  35. That book speaks to me!I can't wait to get my hands on it, whether through you or through the store.

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  36. Beautiful projects. I haven't done much (any) needlework. I'd love to make some of the projects in the book. Very inspiring. Thanks! kristie_keely(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  37. I have not crossstitched since college...I think this the book to push me back into it!

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  38. Beautiful projects. Crossstitch was my first crafty love. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  39. Oh I have been so excited about this book. I am thrilled thrilled thrilled you are doing a giveaway!! Thanks so much!

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  40. I love your project and this book is a must-have! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  41. I love your finished tile, and I know what you mean about the colours - we get two main brands in the UK, DMC & Anchor and whilst they have comparison charts, things can turn out quite differently!
    Thanks for a great giveaway!

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  42. That's beautiful! I had been wondering what the book was like, and it looks just wonderful!

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  43. Beautiful job on your crosstitch! I'd love to try several of those projects in the book.

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  44. I used to cross stitch all the time . . . before I had children. They seem to like the pretty colors and make things difficult ;) This would be a great jumpstart back into it! Thanks for the chance.

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  45. yes yes yes please! I've been wanting to dive into these projects since I saw the love pillow on her blog!

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  46. I want this book so badly! Thanks for the review!

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  47. Thanks for the book review - hoping Santa brings me a copy for Christmas!

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  48. This book looks amazing - I'm just getting into hand stitching and this would be a wonderful resource.

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  49. Love the tile (or whatever it ends up being)! The book looks lovely too.

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  50. This looks a fabulous book!
    I'd love to win a copy!

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  51. What a fabulous book. Thanks for sharing.

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  52. This looks like so much fun! My grandmother tried teaching me cross stitch when I was a little girl, but I never got into it. Now that I'm older and could imagine lots of pretty projects, I would love to try my hand at it again!

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  53. I love what you've done. I adore the love pillow in the book - I really want to make that!

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  54. lovely book, great giveaway! thanks!

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  55. Her designs look so fresh! I'd love to try them

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  56. I would love to win this book! Thank you for the giveaway.

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  57. This book looks glorious, I could do with a big gust of fresh inspiration, please count me in for the giveaway.

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  58. such a pretty snowflake tile!

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  59. Love the idea of working your cross stitch into a journal cover (or another item). I have only ever done cross stitch but would love to learn more techniques (and a little cross stitch project to work on this summer when it's really too hot to be quilting appeals greatly!).

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  60. I love journal covers...that would be a lovely one. I have put away more needlework for way too long. This would be a great way to get going again!

    brookeali(at)hotmail.com

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  61. I would love to win Anna' new book and threads! Her designs are too cute.

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  62. I have always wanted to learn - and this might be the book to finally get me to give it a shot!

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  63. My latest love.....handstitching!

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  64. I would SO love to win this book and floss! Thank you and Free Spirit for the opportunity!
    Jane

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  65. So beautiful! I love to add bits of hand stitching to my projects. I just did a cross stitch iPhone cover and I would love to use one of those designs!

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  66. I love AMH and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book - it's on my birthday wishlst for December, fingers crossed I might be in with a chance of an early birthday present!
    Is that really your first piece of cross stitch Rachel? It's gorgeous :) x

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  67. this book is on my Christmas list! DH would be so happy if I won it and handed it to him to wrap! LOL Your cross stitch is lovely

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  68. Beautiful! I have to say that before your little review here I wasn't all that interested in the book, but from the little you've shown I am significantly more intrigued!

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  69. Sounds like a good book. Those designs are also very similar to traditional biscornu designs in cross stitch. They would make great pincushions if you made two of each design.

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  70. How lovely that cross stitch is being modernised! I have made many a design over the years and love its versatility!

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  71. Lovely and beautiful! AMH does make beautiful rhings, love her work! And yours!

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  72. Gosh, I haven.t been stitching for years ! I always used to think it.s old-fashioned. But looking at your and Anna.s work it.s really something different. Would love to win the book and the floss. Any chances for foreigners ?

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  73. wow, that is a lovely giveaway - what a generous one! love the crewel work.

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  74. That is such a lovely book! I adored tapestry as a child, influenced by Kaffe Fassett, haven't done any in ages 'tho...

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  75. Oh wow great giveaway. Hope international entries are allowed.

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  76. I used to work on cross-stitch with my mom, aunt, and grandma during holidays. It's been a while since I've worked on these types of projects, but this book looks like just the impetus I needed. Thank you! :)

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  77. Thank you, the book and your project look lovely!

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  78. Oh boy would I love this book! I've done a touch of cross-stitch, but that ws about 20 years ago - this book looks like just the thing to get me going again. Thanks for the chance!

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  79. Oh, this book looks great! Just perfect for winter-by-the-fire projects.

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  80. This looks like a great book and your cross stitch is beautiful. Haven't done any cross stitch in a long time. But it's kind of relaxing.

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  81. You did a great job stitching that tile!
    To win the book would be wonderful! Thank you for the chance!

    murielvanderploeg at planet dot nl

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  82. Wow what a neat book. I just started my first cross stitch I definitely agree, stitching is perfect for a sick day!

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  83. She has such a good eye for color and design - the book looks like a lot of fun - and your cross stitching looks beautiful!

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  84. I'm so drawn to her designs and palette, cross stitch would be amazing.

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  85. I have wanted this book since I saw it on AMH's blog! Thanks for the chance!

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  86. I've always wanted to learn needlework and crewel. The Letters Home pillow is just wonderful!

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  87. Oh I love your stitching - and thanks for the tips! I have not tried cross stitch but really want to - I hope I win! Thanks for the chance!

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  88. I have never done counted cross stitch. You made it look easy.

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  89. Love the projects you showed and would love to win it

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  90. Would love to have this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  91. That home pillow is phenomenal! I must make.

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  92. love it - i love crewel work - we have some gorgeous crewel wools here in australia - looks like i'll have to have a new book too :)

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  93. What a fantastic book. I really like your interpretation of the tile block. It appears that you managed the colour challenge just fine. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity.

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  94. Your needlework is so pretty. I'd love to learn how to do this. Thanks for the chance.

    ferilyn at yahoo dot com

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  95. Your handwork is very nice. I would love to win the book and floss, thanks for the chance to win :)

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  96. i love the letters home crewel embroidery - it is divine

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  97. Ooo, so pretty! Love seeing these traditional hobbies getting new life breathed into them:)

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  98. your tile is looking good! :) i love cross stitch, i find it very meditative and also good for re-watching favorite shows, like downton abbey... (rewatching, that way you don't have to feel like you need to look up all the time). thanks for the chance to win...i have been wanting to check out her book, and her embroidery threads.

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  99. I've been cross stitching since I was a child (my aunt taught me!) and just got into embroidery. I would love to have this book :)

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  100. Love the tile pieces - made me think about making a rug this way for my girl's dollhouse.

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  101. Oh my goodness, i want this book!! I started following AMH's blog and was in awe of how she was doing these beautiful peices with traditional techniques that look so modern. It inspired me to go out and try to relearn cross stitch and maybe learn embroidery, but at the locla fabric shop the embroidery/cross stich section has kits (what I was looking for as a beginer) that are all very little old lady ugly or made for little kids. And no books on design! I was so disapointed becasue I want to make things just like this!
    E

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  102. I just started doing some needlepoint and now I want this book!

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  103. I find that I am always too lazy to write down the numbers on floss cards too. My alternate method is to put the little paper band with the number next to the floss card before I wrap the floss around it. The bands are usually long enough that the number peeks out of the bottom. This is not acutally less lazy, since I am still winding the floss, but somehow it feels easier. :)

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  104. Oh, I love cross stitch! Really, any handwork project I can do while reclining on the couch is a good one, lol. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  105. Yay for a giveaway! I've been really into hand embroidery and cross stitch lately. I've even received one of those tile patterns free in a booklet at the quilt festival and I'm hoping to start it soon. Thanks so much for the chance to win, Rachel. Yours looks great!

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  106. I LOVE this book, it is totally top of my Christmas list!

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  107. I'd love to be entered! I enjoy embroidery and cross stitch so much, and this looks like a lovely book.

    ~Kristin
    sewtechnicolor (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  108. whoa nelly! I've never done cross stitch before. I'd love to give it a try with this book! yay.

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  109. Ohhh i Would LOVE to win... Thanks Rachel!! xx
    Chasing Cottons xx

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  110. I love cross stitch. Crossing my fingers. :0)

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  111. Oh please. Pick me, pick me. I love the gentleness of cross stitch and this book has some rocking patterns from what I can see here. Tx for your generosity Rachel.

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  112. Been doing cross stitch for years and dabbling in embroidery, would love to have this book to help me add to my skills, sounds like fun.

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  113. It's been awhile winced I last embroidered and this looks like a great book to inspire some more. Thanks.

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  114. I LOVE your piece. You did "good" with your colour choices! I occasionally pick up a x-stitch piece and work away at it and I especially love the precise of it. Anna Maria's book looks great. I'll have to check out her blog. Thanks for the chance to win it.

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  115. I used to do hand needlework
    this book would inspire me to start again
    thanks for the chance to win

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  116. Oh such a lovely design and such vibrant colors. I can just see your completed Journal cover...it's been a few years since I did cross stitch...winning this would be an awesome incentive to dust off my (cross) stitching skills!!! Thanks.

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  117. Embroidery is such a good winter craft. Wonderful designs I'd love to try.

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  118. I just love hand needlework, especially cross stitching. I did it for many many years and have a stack of things I've stitched and never framed or sewn into anything. Thanks for the push! And thanks for the giveaway!

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  119. I've been pondering this, seeing if I'd get use out of it, but hand stitching on the couch, under a quilt sounds oh so cozy for the winter months....

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  120. Cross-stitch was my first stitching experience when I was a little girl, and I've been wanting to explore embroidery more. This book is the perfect jumping point, I think! Thanks for a lovely review!

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  121. I enjoyed the colorful & vibrant patterns I saw in the new book. I'd enjoy reading the book!

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  122. That looks like a really fun book! Thanks for a chance to win!

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  123. I just saw this book the other day and it went right on my wish list. Glad you are feeling better and I hope you make it to your home school co op tomorrow. I know my friends that home school LOVE their co ops and some weeks they are just the thing needed for everyone.

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  124. So beautiful! And just when I need some more inspiration!

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  125. That is a beautiful pattern. The colors are amazing. Thanks

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  126. Oh wow I love Anna Maria Horner and I don't have this book yet. Pick me please! :) Thank you for the giveaway :)

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  127. Beautiful. I've been trying to get back into cross stitch.

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  128. So nice to see needlework making a come back!

    sowingstitches [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  129. Glad you are feeling better! A day of hand stitching also works wonders for me when I'm sick. :) Your cross stitch turned out beautifully too! I haven't had a chance to flip through this book yet, so getting to see your photos and your finished piece is really exciting. It looks like a great book.

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  130. OOOH! I would love to get my hands on this book. Today I've spent some time with beaded knitting but looking at your cross stitch has my fingers itching to give it a go.

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  131. Oh! I'd love it. Doesn't reading to the end just pay off.

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  132. i'd love to win a copy=i could use a fresh needlework project. thank you.

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  133. Looks amazing! I would love to win a copy!!

    Thanks for the chance.

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  134. Amazing giveaway. Thanks for the chance.

    margie

    margiedicroce(at)rogers(dot)com

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  135. I passionately love freehand embroidery but the gridded stuff is fun, too. What a nice give away!

    :) Linda

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  136. What a great give away! Thanks

    daniel.stephanie1997@gmail.com

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  137. Oh I would love to get this book! I really enjoy hand work, and I'm seeing some soon-to-come birthday gifts and Christmas gifts :D Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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  138. Beautiful stitchery! Thank you for the giveaway. I would LOVE to win this book!! I love Anna Maria's fabrics, and her stitchery is wonderful. I learned to embroider as a very young girl. I still have my little sewing basket.

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  139. Everything I've heard about this book is positive. Thanks for sharing. I'm inspired to do some cross stitch again. Thanks.

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  140. I would absolutely love to take a peek at this book. Thanks for sharing!!

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  141. What a generous giveaway. Thanks so much for the chance to bring this beauty home.

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  142. Awesome, I did cross-stitch and a minute amount of embroidery growing up and would love to get back to it. Thanks so much for the giveaway

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  143. Its lovely :) and thank you for the chance to win what looks to be a wonderful work of inspiration.
    -annabelle

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  144. Beautiful! Would love to win this wonderful book!

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  145. Wow! That was your first cross-stitch?!? Amazing and beautiful!

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  146. Wow - that is really beautiful - the colors are fantastic!! I would love to win a copy of her book.... but it is pretty intimidating!! Great work!

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  147. Whoa...I want this book and some floss! Pick me, please?! I have been plotting to get a collection of floss colors and to do some embellishing with them. This book would help me.

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  148. Whoa...I want this book and some floss! Pick me, please?! I have been plotting to get a collection of floss colors and to do some embellishing with them. This book would help me.

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  149. What a stunning collection of needlework! I just love her style! awolk at rogers dot com

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  150. This looks like such a great book!! My sister is moving to Nigeria for work and decided on needlework as her craft of choice to move with her... this would make an amazing gift for her that she would really really love!! Thanks for the opportunity to win these great things! (sjones0710@gmail.com)

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  151. I've been wanting to try embroidery. This book looks wonderful.

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  152. So modern and vibrant- love what you have shared from the book on your blog. Thank you for showing and sharing:)

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  153. The book is so beautiful! I'm a little intimidated by the needlework, but I'm so drawn to it recently.

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  154. I've really wanted to learn how to do needlework and I would be ecstatic if I won this awesome giveaway!

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  155. How sweet of you to share. Thanks for the chance.

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  156. Love your project! Would be so happy to win, thanks for the giveaway :)

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  157. What a wonderful giveaway. And, the perfect chance to try out a new craft. Bevarnold123@comcast..net

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  158. I can not WAIT to get this book. thanks for the chance to win!

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  159. Thankyou for offering this book as a give away- it looks so enticing and covet-able!

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  160. What a beautiful book.
    I started cross stitch-ing when I was much younger but have since moved onto bigger grander crafts. I still enjoy a quiet afternoon of cross stitch every now and then.
    Thanks for the change to win.

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  161. First cross-stitch? as always you made it gorgeous Rachel!!!

    Ana Maria Horner´s new book is on my wish list for Christmas,so thanks for the opportunity to get it before!!

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  162. Love the ideas in this book! I've done a fair bit of cross stitch and love it. Would love to try crewel. Thanks for the chance!
    Elizabeth
    Lwghosts at yahoo dot com

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  163. Cross stitching is something on my need-to-try list, so this beautiful book would be helpful. Thanks for the chance.

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  164. What a beautiful book! I haven't done cross stitch since I was little and I would love to get into it again :)

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  165. Lovely it makes me want to do some crossstich again. Thanks for the chance. lia.vandenbrand@live.nl

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  166. I love your piece, and the book looks very inspiring! It's a long time since I did any needlework, and I have nothing to show as I have given it all away. Time to rediscover I think!

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  167. I love AMH and couldn't give up the chance to win a copy of her book. It would be lovely to go back to doing some cross stitching again, I haven't done that since I had my family - 13 years ago....sigh!now I just quilt.

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  168. Aww hugs to the poorly people! Wrap up warm and drink lots of tea :D
    I would love love love to win a copy of this book and some floss! The chances of it being a "surprise" gift for me in the holidays from my man are dwindling as madams Christmas wish list grows lol

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  169. I love AMH! And I love to incorporate hand stitching into (almost) every quilt I make.

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  170. Wow! What an inspiration. I'd love to win this book.

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  171. So so pretty! Love what you came up with!

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  172. So so pretty! Love what you came up with!

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  173. So so pretty! Love what you came up with!

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  174. Such a beautiful book! and I love the pattern you worked on. I am a beginner quilter, but I'd love to learn the needlework as well!

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  175. I haven't done any needlework in years, but this looks like a fun way to get going.

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  176. That is GORGEOUS! I've always wanted to try cross stitch, but never wanted to take the plunge to get started. I'm seeing so many posts about this book though that it's really getting me wanting to hope in the car and run to the store! =)

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  177. I grew up cross stitching with my mother, but haven't done it in awhile. This looks like a wonderful collection of modern needlework that would get me back into it!

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  178. It's been a long time since I have done any cross stitch. I really like the projects you highlighted, especially the home pillow which I'm off to look at now.

    I'm glad you are feeling better. Hope it's all behind you now!

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  179. Oooh! Would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

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  180. This looks like just the book to get me going on some handwork projects!

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  181. Your book looks so lovely ~ I really like the home pillow and so many more projects in the book.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  182. It has been a long time since I've picked up a cross-stitch project, but what you showed here really speaks to me and makes me think that maybe it's time! I would love the chance to work from this book. Thank you for the giveaway. :)

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  183. I love your cross stitch project and am impressed at how quickly you completed this ! I would love to try my hand at some of the projects in the book . Thanks for the chance to win .

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  184. This book looks challenging and beautiful - a perfect combination for inspiration.

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  185. Your project looks great! I find cross stitching to be very relaxing.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    megromeo@gmail.com

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  186. I have been drooling over her floss sets for months, thank you so much for the giveaway!!

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  187. I love her floss, the colors are spectacular!!!

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  188. My grandmother did needlepoint and cross stitch avidly. In my humble opinion, she did fantastic work. I am fortunate to have one of her pieces hanging on my wall. I've played around a bit with some cross stitch and enjoyed it a lot. Your project looks great! I would love to get my hands on a copy of Anna Maria's book. Thanks for the opportunity! karen(dot)patriquin(at)gmail(dot)com

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  189. Wow, what a beautiful book! Needlework was the first crafty thing I learned how to do.

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  190. Lovely. I started doing crewel several years ago (a favorite pasttime of my great grandmother), but I have yet to branch out into grid works.

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  191. I used to do cross stitch, but decided to focus on quilting. I use my floss for quilting projects now - usually Christmas decorations that need hand work. Beautiful book!

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  192. I would love to win. I am dying to start doing more needlework.

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  193. Your cross stitch is beautiful - yes kits are very enticing - I have far more than I will ever, ever stitch!

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